IN THE BUUF
The newsletter of the BUFFALO UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST FELLOWSHIP
NOVEMBER 2013

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NOVEMBER MEETINGS
7 p.m. at the Buffalo Community Center
Wednesday, Nov. 13	Luke Markve will lead the meeting on the topic, “Knife Sharpening and Healthy Eating.”  Bring dull knives!  Knife sharpeners will be available to use and for purchase.  We’ll also share stories about our diets, successful and unsuccessful.  Bring a (healthful) recipe you’d like to share.
Wednesday, Nov. 27	NO MEETING.
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BUUF BOARD MEETING – NOTE CHANGE FROM USUAL DATE
The BUUF Board will meet next on December 11 at 8:30 p.m. after the regular meeting.
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SENDING BEST WISHES TO BETTY WALDHAUER
Betty Waldhauer suffered a stroke on October 22 and was in Abbott-Northwestern Hospital for a few days.  She’s home now and recovering.  We’re all VERY glad to learn that!
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BUUF HOLIDAY POT LUCK
Our annual BUUF Holiday Pot Luck dinner will be held Sunday, December 8 at noon at the home of Carolyn Grieve, 514 Buffalo Run Road.  Please let Carolyn know if you’re coming and what dish you’re bringing.  Phone her at 612-616-8401 or email grievecarolyn@gmail.com.
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LUKE’S CORNER
By Luke Markve
Today is October 31, 2013, Halloween, and Day of the Dead.
At noon, I gave up my Santa business and am referring my clientele to Santa John Marshall of Monticello.  It felt like a funeral.  A part of me died.
I casually stopped at General Rental in Monticello two weeks ago, where I had purchased my first Santa outfit.  I asked if they would like to buy it back.  They said, “No, but here is information about Santa John who might want it.”
I found John has 21 years of experience and approaches Santa Claus like I do.  Like me, his favorite Christmas story is “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”  As we shared life stories, similarities abounded.
On returning home, I opened the Wright County Journal Press which had just arrived.  I usually wait until Friday to open it.  Today I opened to see our BUUF announcement.  The Obituaries were across the page.  I seldom do more than glance at them.  For some reason the obituary of Donald Suppes popped out, especially the words, “Lame Deer Reservation in Montana.”
(I am a follower of Robert Pirsig who spent time with friends at that Reservation.  In his book, “Lila, An Inquiry into Morals,” he tells a story about walking there with three friends in order to encapsulate his whole philosophy within one story.)
The Celebration of Life will be held at the Peterson-Grimsmo Chapel in Monticello today from 5 to 8 p.m. with a prayer service at 7 p.m.  As it got closer to 7o’clock, I felt increasingly compelled to attend.
About 100 people were present.  At the conclusion of the service, a mature man walked the center isle toward the front carrying a smoldering plant stalk.  He kneeled in front of the urn and held the stalk high for quite a while.  You could see it was a religious ritual.  Could it be that the deceased and this man had a connection with the Lame Deer Reservation, and with Robert Pirsig?
After the service, he told me that he and friends often rode motorcycles to Lame Deer Reservation.  The deceased had been adopted into the Reservation tribe.  They all knew Pirsig and followed his philosophy.
The fear and hope that an acceptable Santa would take my place, ended with joy.  The fear and hope that Don Suppes, family and friends, would have association with Robert Pirsig ended with happiness and expectation of more good to come.  Both experiences were like dying and rising again – twice in one day.
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BUUF HIGHWAY LITTER PICKUP
The BUUF litter pickup gang did a great job this fall.
After a couple of false starts because of bad weather, 14 hardy folk made it to help on Sunday, October 27.  It was a productive effort:  26 bags of trash were collected and at least 3 piles of junk were stacked along the highway.
Nothing really unusual was found except for a couple of items Sally Fowler picked up.  First, she found a shirt, and a bit later she found a pair of panties.  It does make one wonder…
I want to thank:  Richard Dean, Dick and Carolyn Grieve, the Muellerleile family, Dave Boyer, Rosalie Darden, Luke and Louise Markve, Erin Walsh, Duncan and Sally Fowler.  I also need to acknowledge the volunteers who got rained out on the 20th.  My thanks to Marv Gordon and the whole Melanie Estes clan for volunteering for the rained-out pickup.  Maybe next time??
So everyone knows, every time I have contacted the Buffalo MNDOT maintenance station, they are profusely grateful for our efforts.
By the way, I am missing one of the safety vests.  I would appreciate it if you would check your closets and let me know if you happen to have it.  Drop me a note at DuncFowler@gmail.com or leave a message at 763-684-4838.
Thanks again to one and all! – Dunc Fowler
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NOTES FROM OUR OCTOBER MEETINGS
Wednesday, Oct. 9	David Boyer  lad the meeting on the topic of “Existentialism: A Philosophy to Live By.”  He summarized key ideas from Søren Kierkegaard, a 19th century Danish Christian existentialist, and Jean-Paul Sartre, a 20th century French atheistic existentialist.  Their common theme is that we can’t avoid making radical choices, even though we have no pre-existing basis on which to choose!  He left plenty of time for us all to talk about how we can make sense of existentialist ideas, and how much of them we can use.
Wednesday, Oct. 23	“Remembering Dorothy Hawker and Looking at How We Want to Be Remembered.”
Dorothy began her long life in Minneapolis as Dorothy Falk, delightedly discovered the First Unitarian Society at age 11 with her parents, earned her teaching certificate, taught girls Physical Education at Central High School (Minneapolis), enjoyed decades of marriage with Bill Hawker (who taught boys Physical Education), moved with him to their retirement home on the shore of Lake Pulaski, was an active member of the BUUF for many years, moved to Park Terrace when needed, and after a recent stroke died at Park View Care Center on October 6 at the age of 103.
Luke Markve led the meeting.  He shared items from the memorial service held on Thursday, October 17 at the Chapel of Park View Care Center.  He noted that we are now building and growing that by which we will be remembered.  Each day we are making decisions for now and the future which affect the betterment of our families, friends, communities, and institutions we love.  We contribute to their welfare in making decisions on what we leave: heirlooms, money, memorabilia, property, writings and experiences which others will cherish.
Luke then introduced attorney John Markve (son of Luke and Louise) who gave us valuable information about wills, probate, estates, and charitable giving.  He discussed the process of clearing titles to assets, joint tenants vs. tenants-in-common, trusts, and powers of attorney.  He noted that in making estate-planning decisions we should remember that charities don’t pay income taxes, so gifts of tax-deferred accounts such as 4-1(k)s and IRAs work well.  John also had available forms for preparing a Health Care Declaration (sometimes called a “Living Will”).
A DVD of the memorial service for Dorothy Hawker is available.  Also available is a DVD of Dorothy at age 100 produced by Bill Weir, with the interview conducted by her long-time friend Luke Markve, is available.  Contact Bill for further information:  wweir1@gmail.com or (best) mobile phone 612-741-0445.
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BUUFalo GALS
The women of the BUUF have been meeting the third Thursday of each month for lunch and conversation.  We met on Thursday, October 31 (date changed because of the memorial service for Dorothy Hawker) at the home of Carolyn Grieve.  Watch for more information about our November get-together!
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BUUF COMMITTEES
Our fellowship is governed by a Board of Directors which consists of the four elected officers – Marie Smith, president; Duncan Fowler, vice president; Carolyn Grieve, treasurer; and Louise Markve, secretary – the immediate past president (Richard Dean) and nine committee chairs.  The committees are listed in each issue of “In the BUUF,” but it’s probably the newsletter section you skip over!
Budget and Finance, Carolyn Grieve	[grievecarolyn@gmail.com]
Denominational Affairs, Bill Weir	[wweir1@gmail.com]
Fellowship, Maria Maki		[makimaria@hotmail.com]
Facilities, Pattie Dorf			[pattie@visi.com]
Historian, Betty Waldhauer		[jackwald@lakedalelink.net]
Newsletter, Marie Smith		[doods1945@aol.com]
Outreach, Duncan Fowler		[DuncFowler@gmail.com]
Program, Luke Markve (chair) and Corrine Miller	[luvik@me.com]
Social Action, Louise Markve		[loumar937@gmail.com]
You can make your involvement in the BUUF more interesting and informative by serving on one of these committees.  Contact information for each chairperson is listed above.  We’re really very nice people, and we won’t demand too much of your time!  Give us a call.

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DENOMINATIONAL AFFAIRS CAN SPARK NEW VITALITY
This article, taken from the UUA Interconnections folks, was submitted by Bill Weir, the BUUF’s Denominational Affairs Committee chair.
People join Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations for personal reasons – to find something that is missing in their lives, whether that’s a community of like-minded souls or spirituality.  (They do not join, as it turns out, so they can serve on the denominational affairs committee!)
In many congregations, this committee consists of one, or at most two, long-time members who labor diligently to interest others in the work of the MidAmerica District and the denomination.  Ask them and they’ll tell you how hard it is to find anyone to join the committee and how difficult it can be to interest people in denominational issues.
Yet there are congregations with thriving, dynamic denominational affairs committees.  At the First UU Church in Nashville, Tennessee (317 members), the committee is comp0osed of eight to ten people who have created a highly visible presence by doing traditional denominational affairs functions well and by taking on responsibilities that in some congregations might fall to other committees.
Here’s what the Nashville committee is doing:
♣	Bringing in outside speakers for an annual human rights lecture
♣	Organizing a well-attended, 3-4 session adult education course on the study/action issues to be considered at General Assembly (GA)
♣	Selecting delegates to attend GA annually in June
♣	Publicizing district and continental denominational events
♣	Sponsoring a Jubilee World antiracism workshop
“The core thing that keeps us going is that we have substantial things that we know are our responsibility,” says Anna Belle Leiserson, committee chair.  The committee injects a little fun, too.  To encourage board members to attend GA, the committee put together a song and dance.  “People notice us,” she said.
At the UU church of Berkeley in Kensington, CA (572 members), Kathy Owens says support from the ministers helps boost denominational affairs.  The committee has an annual half-day retreat with ministers to lay plans for the year, and it also does an occasional three-minute talk during Sunday services about denominational topics.  The committee also leads an occasional service and introduces its work at new-member teas.
Janis Elliot, moderator at First Unitarian in Portland, OR (1013 members), favors infusing denominational awareness into other committees, rather than creating a separate committee.  “Our approach is to work with each committee to appoint a denominational liaison and assign a board member as the coordinator to help link them.  I’m open to more discussion but I do not think giving it to a committee works.”
Many congregations in the Pacific Southwest District call their denominational chairs “Association/District Representatives.”  “The district supports the representatives with regular conferences to keep them in touch with each other,” says district president Nancy Loughrey.
The committee puts articles in the newsletter, uses the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) website to keep track of programs and services, shows the video from General Assembly, encourages new people to attend GA (with a budget line item that helps pay expenses), and brings denominational leaders to speak at church to help members feel connected.
Having a thriving denominational affairs committee “has increased the congregation’s sense of being connected to a larger movement,” says Rev. Lynn Ungar at Second Unitarian Church in Chicago, IL (207 members).  “Even for the majority of folks who never attend a GA or district meeting it makes a real difference to know that we participate in that larger structure, and that we live out our UU values within a wider context.”
For more information contact interconnections@uua.org.
FOR BUUF – which of these would be worth trying?  Please give me your opinions.
Bill Weir, Denominational Affairs Committee Chair, wweir1@gmail.com or mobile 612-751-0445.
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CONTRIBUTIONS TO “IN THE BUUF”
If you have something to share, be sure to send it to Marie Smith:  telephone 763-295-3732, email buuf_uubuffalo@yahoo.com.  It could be a few sentences or a few paragraphs long, and it could be on just about any topic.  Let’s see how many creative folks we have in our membership!
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BUUF OFFICERS 2013-2013
Marie Smith, President, buuf_uubuffalo@yahoo.com, 763-295-3732
Duncan Fowler, Vice President, duncfowler@gmail.com, 763-684-4838  
Louise Markve, Secretary                Carolyn Grieve, Treasurer
Luke Markve, Media Contact, luvik@me.com, 763-682-4616

Committees and chairs:  Budget and Finance, Carolyn Grieve; Denominational Affairs, Bill Weir; Fellowship, Maria Maki; Facilities, Pattie Dorf; Historian, Betty Waldhauer; Newsletter, Marie Smith; Outreach, Duncan Fowler; Program, Luke Markve (chair) and Corrine Miller; Social Action, Louise Markve; Long Range Planning, Duncan Fowler, Luke Markve, Marie Smith and Jack Waldhauer.
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Don’t forget to visit our website:  www.buuf.us.
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We welcome everyone to our group, whatever your race, ethnic origin, religious perspective, sexual orientation, political philosophy, or economic condition.
Go forth into the world in peace.  Have courage.  Hold onto what is good.  Return no one evil for evil.  Strengthen the faint-hearted.  Support the weak.  Help the suffering.  Promote freedom.  Celebrate the gift of life.
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